This Week’s Quotes

“Next up: Neil Young’s announcement that he is pulling his music from streaming services because of poor sound quality. ‘He’s a cranky old man,’ says Blodget. ‘Not to get all academic, but that is one of the hallmarks of disruptive technology. They’re not as good, they’re just good enough. People hear disruptive technology and they think, “Oh, someone invented something better.” Actually, no. It’s usually worse. But it’s cheaper, faster, and easier, and it gets better over time.'”

“Henry Blodget Is in the Middle of Another Tech Boom, With a New Product to Sell”

Straight outta Clayton Christensen, but I wouldn’t expect Neil Young to have read “The Innovator’s Dilemma.”

Why, in a country so focused on smart, is everybody so stupid? Own your intelligence, educate yourself, marketing does not trump everything.

MP3s did not sound as good as CDs. But they were cheap and easy to acquire and portable and the disc had no chance. Furthermore, even Apple started selling higher resolution, and now you can stream at a higher quality on Deezer and Tidal.

Not everybody can afford an iPhone. Not everybody wants to pay for an iPhone. Look at the worldwide numbers, iOS is dwarfed by Android. Android may be susceptible to malware, may not be as intuitive, but it’s cheap and good enough for most people. Which is why Apple’s worldwide market share caved.

You cannot deny the future. You can try to milk profits from a declining past, but you cannot prop it up. The history of the internet era is those who cling to the past get overridden by those living in the future. You can be a Luddite, but it does not serve you well.

AC/DC is now on iTunes. As is Bob Seger.

And if you don’t believe Neil Young will end up on streaming services you think the man from old Ontario doesn’t like money, but the truth is he does.

Please don’t get caught up in the sideshow. You don’t have to go to business school to be familiar with Clayton Christensen’s theories, you don’t even have to read his book, but you can start by reading the Wikipedia page: And you can do a bit more research, the internet is not only good for link-bait and social networking.

And know that the reason the techies are so successful is they’re willing to go where the artists refuse, boldly into the future. It’s a bizarre twist on the “Twilight Zone” episode “To Serve Man.” To avoid being eaten, educate yourself.


“Across the board, from the bottom to the top, the music industry is built on people pretending to be bigger than they are.”

An Interview with Artist and Composer Zoe Keating

Or as Jerry Heller once told me… A reporter asked him how many albums Ruthless Records sold… SEVENTY MILLION! The reporter believed Jerry. Jerry looked at me and said…”My company, my number.”

I could tell you not to believe everything you read, but you already know that. But you don’t know that most of the controversies in the music world are fake, done for publicity, for attention, and you’re gonna have a hard time legislating transparency in a world where no one wants it.

That’s Ms. Keating’s point. That the indie artists don’t want transparency because that will illustrate how tiny their audience truly is.

And believe me, the superstars don’t want it either. So many of their sold-out dates weren’t. Household names you adore have papered their shows.

But in a world where the government is whored out and there’s little chance for advancement the public/fans believe the stories in order to enrich their lives. They want to believe Neil Young is standing up for them, against the bogeyman. Taylor Swift is infallible and you’d better not say anything bad about people’s heroes.

But the truth is they’re human, just like you. Flesh and blood. Flawed.

Artists used to sell this message. Before they realized America was a giant casino where you had to have money to play and if you didn’t you couldn’t get a seat at the table.

So everybody’s lying. To you, and oftentimes themselves.

A lot of what you think is big is not. Artifice rules, just read Larry Butler’s piece on artist bios:

A Tribute to the Artist Bio Writer

I don’t even read them, they’re laden with untruths. But the truth is lame media outlets repeat them word for word and you believe them.

Those who win don’t believe. They’re not wedded to the past.

You can tell us how many Twitter followers you’ve got, even though you bought many, you can trumpet your Facebook likes, but only you know the darkness of your bank account, only you know you’re broke.

Or to quote the same damn man, who used to focus on writing good songs as opposed to business, where his skills do not lie…


P.S. If you’ve got more time, and if not you should make some, read the 2012 “New Yorker” article on Clayton Christensen –

“When Giants Fail, What business has learned from Clayton Christensen”

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